Florida State vs. Clemson: Whose 2014 Recruiting Class Is Better Right Now?
Clemson and Florida State play this weekend in what figures to be the biggest game of the weekend, and maybe the entire month. The Tigers and Seminoles both boast outstanding quarterbacks, good speed and defenses that can get after the passer.
Recruiting is also going well for both programs, as they each have a great group of commitments. Each school is coached by staffs that feature outstanding recruiters.
With this weekend's matchup being so highly anticipated, it's only logical to take a look at which program has the superior recruiting class.
Florida State's 2014 Recruiting Class Capsule
Head coach Jimbo Fisher has Florida State recruiting like it did when it was led by former coach Bobby Bowden. The Seminoles attack the trail every year, and Fisher's approach is mainly based on player evaluation.
FSU has 24 commitments, and 15 are in-state prospects. However, Fisher and his staff are clearly not afraid to leave the Sunshine State, evidenced by the other eight states represented in their class. States such as Georgia, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, South Carolina and Pennsylvania all have at least one prospect who is committed to Florida State.
The class has excellent balance, as 11 prospects are slated for offense, and another 11 are defensive players. A pair of athletes and a long snapper round out the group.
Receiver and defensive line are the positions of emphasis, as they both have six commitments, respectively.
Clemson's 2014 Recruiting Class Capsule
Head coach Dabo Swinney and his staff are passionate recruiters who do a great job of not only recruiting the prospect, but key people around said prospect as well. Their approach is based on good evaluations, plus selling recruits on the family aspect of their program.
The Tigers have secured commitments from 17 prospects, and seven are from North Carolina. They have taken five players from the state of Georgia, three from North Carolina, while Florida and Maryland each have one player in the class.
The class has eight offensive players, seven on defense, one athlete and a kicker. Linebackers and pass-catchers are the theme of the group, as both units have four commitments each.
Florida State's Top 2014 Commitments
Markell Pack is a 4-star receiver who is among the most explosive players in the country. He is 6'2", weighs 180 pounds and will stretch the field in Tallahassee.
Jacob Pugh is one of the top pass-rushers in the country. The 4-star linebacker can also play defensive end in sub-packages. Safety Trey Marshall, a 4-star prospect, has solid speed and range on the back end.
Whether it's at quarterback, receiver, cornerback or safety, 4-star athlete Treon Harris will make his mark for the 'Noles as well.
Quarterback JJ Cosentino will get his chance one day at FSU, and the 4-star passer is expected to make the most out of it. He should develop good chemistry with 3-star tight ends Ryan Izzo and Mavin Saunders.
Delvin Purifoy can play across the second level, as the 4-star 'backer is 6'2" and 230 pounds. Demarcus Christmas and Dexter Wideman are 4-star defensive tackles who will add quickness in the defensive trenches.
Clemson's Top 2014 Commitments
Artavis Scott is a player to watch for the Tigers, as he could hear his name called early and often at Clemson. The 4-star Florida receiver is 5'10", 175 pounds and can skate out of his cuts when running routes.
Korie Rogers is a 4-star linebacker who is a bit undersized at 6'1" and 210 pounds. However, the Georgia native plays bigger than his size, is tough at the point of attack and flashes short-area explosiveness to finish plays.
Demarre Kitt is not overly quick, but the 4-star receiver has adequate speed, runs crisp routes and catches everything with his mitts. Listed as an athlete, 4-star prospect Adam Choice figures to develop into a tough and powerful running back.
Milan Richard is an interesting 4-star offensive player who can play tight end, fullback and H-back. Cannon Smith is a 4-star recruit who can play tight end, but he could grow into an offensive lineman. Also, 4-star linebacker Chris Register may become a good defensive end at Clemson.
Florida State's 2014 Recruiting Class Headliner
The Seminoles' top committed prospect is 4-star linebacker Kain Daub, who is from Jacksonville.
At 6'3" and 234 pounds, Daub is among the most physical defenders in the country.
He has good ball-location skills, quickly reads plays and operates with good anticipation against the run. Daub fills alleys with good short-area quickness, attacks downhill and relishes contact. He plays like a giant at the point of attack, strikes with power and has the ability to shed blocks quickly to get free and make stops.
Daub shows solid lateral flow to the ball to reach the edges of the box, but is better in a straight line. He is effective when asked to blitz, and flashes some pass-rushing ability. Daub is not fluid in space, but he is tough, strong and competes at everything he does on the field.
He should be an impressive run-stuffing linebacker in Tallahassee.
Clemson's 2014 Recruiting Class Headliner
Clemson's class starts and ends with 4-star quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Georgia native has an outside chance to start as a true freshman.
Watson, who is 6'3" and 200 pounds, has all of the physical tools needed to be an elite starting quarterback at the next level. He sees the field well in the pocket, sets up quickly and has a quick release. Watson does a great job of taking care of the ball, reads coverages properly and has good passing instincts.
He's an accurate passer who has the arm strength to attack the second and third levels of the defense and perimeter. Watson makes good decisions, can fit the ball in tight windows and doesn't get rattled in tense situations.
He has the athleticism and mobility to get out of traffic in the pocket, and can be used as a designed runner.
The Peach State native is a great fit for the Tigers' offense.
Although Clemson has the best player between both classes in Deshaun Watson, Florida State is the winner of this recruiting class battle.
The game should be a great one, but Florida State can claim victory when it comes to head-to-head recruiting.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
While waiting for Saturday night's big game between Clemson and Florida State, use the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map to locate the nation's top prospects!
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.